Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), Page 1086

1-3. Spiritual Dwarfs—Paul longed to speak to the church in Corinth of spiritual things. But to his sorrow he found it in great weakness. The church members could not even bear to hear the truth concerning themselves. [1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 quoted.] The Spiritual growth of this people was so dwarfed that a plain “Thus saith the Lord” was an offense to them. Paul knew that by giving them the truth he would be ranked as an accuser and faultfinder (Manuscript 74, 1899).

2. Living on a Low Level—[1 Corinthians 3:1-3 quoted.] Those addressed in these words had not been feeding on Christ, and therefore they were not advanced in spiritual knowledge. Paul said, “I have fed you with milk”—the plainest, most simple truths, suitable for converts young in the faith; “not with meat”—the solid, nourishing, spiritual food suited to those who have made progress in a knowledge of divine things. They were living on a low level, dwelling on the surface truths which call for no thought, no deep research (Manuscript 70, 1901).

4-9. Ministers Not to Be Idolized—There can be no stronger evidence in churches that the truths of the Bible have not sanctified the receivers than their attachment to some favorite minister, and their unwillingness to accept and be profited by the labors of some other teacher who is sent to them in the providence of God. The Lord sends help to His church as they need, not as they choose; for short-sighted mortals cannot discern what is for their best good. It is seldom that one minister has all the qualifications necessary to perfect any one church in all the requirements of Christianity; therefore God sends other ministers to follow him, one after another, each one possessing some qualifications in which the others were deficient.

The church should gratefully accept these servants of Christ, even as they would accept their Master Himself. They should seek to derive all the benefit possible from the instruction which ministers may give them from the Word of God. But the ministers themselves are not to be idolized; there should be no religious pets and favorites among the people; it is the truths they bring which are to be accepted, and appreciated in the meekness of humility (Redemption: or the Teachings of Paul, and his Mission to the Gentiles, 74, 75).

5, 6. The Lord Our Efficiency—The Lord desires us to distinguish between the means and the instrument. [1 Corinthians 3:5, 6 quoted.] The human agent is only the instrument; it is to the Lord he owes his efficiency. He must cooperate with divine power (Letter 150, 1900).

9 (2 Corinthians 10:4; see EGW on Genesis 2:7; Romans 12:2). God Provides the Weapons—“We are laborers together with God.” He provides us with all the facilities, all the spiritual weapons necessary for the pulling down of Satan's strongholds. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Let the tones of your voice express the love of God. Lead, but never drive. Approach the most obstinate in a spirit of kindness and affection. Dip your words into the oil of grace, and let them flow forth from your lips in love (Letter 105, 1893).

Divine Culture Will Be Given—The Lord will give divine culture to those who are laborers together with Him. To be a laborer together with God means to strive and wrestle to grow up into Christ's likeness. It is Satan who makes it necessary for us to strive. Those who will keep the eye fixed upon the life of the Lord Jesus will gain an abundant entrance into His spiritual temple (Letter 5, 1900.)

Feeble Plants Receive Special Care—“Ye are God's husbandry.” As one takes pleasure in the cultivation of a garden, so the Lord takes pleasure in His believing sons and daughters. A garden demands constant labor. The weeds must be removed; new plants must be set out; branches that are making too rapid a development must be pruned back. So the Lord works for His garden, the plants of the Lord. He cannot take pleasure in any development that does not reveal the graces of the character of Christ. The blood of Christ has made men and women God's precious charge. Then how careful each one should be not to manifest too much freedom in pulling up the plants the Lord has placed in His garden. Some plants are so feeble that they have hardly any life in them, and for these the Lord has a special care (Manuscript 39, 1896).

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»